School of nursing

School Notes: School of Nursing
November/December 2006

Reunion draws Nursing alums back to campus

More than 165 YSN alumnae/i and family members returned to New Haven October 6–7 to participate in the 2006 YSN reunion weekend. With the theme “Modeling Practice, Modeling Research,” the program showcased the cutting-edge work of the school’s alumnae/i and faculty in new forms of practice and new arenas for research. The reunion also celebrated the 80th anniversary of YSN’s first graduating class and the 50th anniversary of the school’s nurse-midwifery program. Ada Sue Hinshaw '63, dean emerita and professor of the University of Michigan School of Nursing and the first director of the National Institute for Nursing Research, gave the keynote address.

Midwifery text published in Spanish

Midwives in Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean and Latin America now have access to a Spanish-language edition of the preeminent midwifery textbook Varney’s Midwifery,authored by Helen Varney Burst '63, Jan M. Kriebs '83, and Carolyn L. Gregor. First published in 1980, the volume is the first textbook for nurse-midwives in the western hemisphere.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in collaboration with the Pan American Health and Education Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development, has published the 4th edition of Varney's Midwifery in Spanish, as Parteria Profesional de Varney. “The book will be made available to more than 500 educational centers in 20 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, in an effort to increase the proportion of births that are attended by qualified personnel,” said Gina Tambini MD, who heads the family and community health area of PAHO. Varney Burst, who was professor in the YSN nurse-midwifery specialty until her retirement in 2004, is a past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Nurses honored for creative writing

Award-winning journalist, author, and nursing advocate Suzanne Gordon was the featured speaker at the third annual presentation of the School of Nursing’s Creative Writing Awards. YSN encourages its students to write an account of what they do so that others will have an opportunity to peer into the world of nursing. For the past three years, the school has presented awards to the best stories that have come out of this project. This year, from more than 30 entries, three winners were chosen: Laura Fitzgerald '06MSN, Sylvia Parker '08, and first-year doctoral student Anna-leila Williams. The panel of judges included surgeon and writer Richard Selzer; Anne Fadiman, writer, essayist, editor, and teacher; Echo Heron, nurse and activist; and Donna Diers, former YSN dean, author, and Annie W. Goodrich Professor of Nursing Emerita. Said YSN assistant professor Linda Pellico, “It is time for nursing to find its voice and speak it in every forum possible.”

Website will be resource on nursing policy issues

Cindy Connolly, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing and at the medical school, is a member of a group of nursing historians who have received a three-year grant from the National Library of Medicine to create a website on nursing policy issues. The group, the American Academy of Nursing's Expert Panel on Nursing History, received funding for their project “Nursing, History, and Health Care Policy: A Web Resource.” The website will offer a comprehensive review of nursing’s political and social issues as they are debated in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, and place them in their historical context to serve as a primary source of historical background information on critical issues regarding the nursing profession.

Dorothy Sexton remembered

Professor Emeritus Dorothy Sexton, creator of YSN’s medical-surgical nursing program and the graduate entry prespecialty in nursing (GEPN), died September 29 at the age of 69. Dr. Sexton came to Yale in 1974, and within two years created a curriculum in medical-surgical nursing in the master’s program for college graduates with no prior nursing experience. This led to the creation of the GEPN, the first of its kind in the United States. In 1994, Dr. Sexton prepared the grant application that allowed YSN to launch its doctoral program. Upon her retirement in 2001, YSN created a scholarship in her name.

Conference focuses on new treatments for Tourette Syndrome

Lawrence Scahill, acting associate dean for scholarly affairs at the Nursing School and a professor of child psychiatry at Yale, chaired a conference on Tourette Syndrome in Washington, D.C., September 10-12. The conference brought together leading scientists from both inside and outside the TS field, to evaluate recent finds in neuroscience and identify new treatments for Tourette Syndrome, a familial neurological disorder that begins in childhood and is characterized by chronic motor and vocal tics. TS affects an estimated six of every 1,000 school-age children.

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